Have you ever slipped on a shoe and felt an instant connection? You slide those babies on for the first time and feel something familiar, something comforting. Perhaps you two were lovers in a past life—long, long ago. If you’ve experienced it before, you’ll know how rare it is. And if you’re new to my blog then hi, I’m Emily and I enjoy arbitrarily equating trying on shoes with the feeling of falling in love.
I’ve only experienced this wonderful sensation a few times since I started running back in 2008. The first lust I felt was when I slipped on the Nike LunaRacer +3’s back in 2012. I just knew—knew that these were the shoes made specifically for me. My feet met its soulmate—we were destined to be together forever.
Unfortunately for so many of us runners, when we finally find a brand and model that we think is a lifelong partner, our time together is cut short. Brands savagely decide to kill off (discontinue) models on the regular—which can be extremely disheartening. We’re left holding onto our last pair that’s worn through in the soles; scouring the internet like vultures trying to scoop up whatever pairs may still exist out there. Or if you’re like me, you’ll stockpile and hoard the shoes (I remember dropping over $1,000 at one point).
Since Nike discontinued the LunaRacers, I’ve tried countless other brands and models and while I did find quite a few different shoes that we’re just okay (and some even good), I just haven’t been able to find that partner that’s a full match—they’ve all been partial matches you could say.
Up until March 4th, 2021, that’s when everything changed for me—when Under Armour’s Flow Velociti Winds arrived at my doorstep and I slipped those glass slippers (ahem, runners) on. Before we dive into my newly discovered match, I need to caveat that I do have an existing partnership with Under Armour. We collaborate often and I do have the opportunity to test out a lot of their gear—whether that’s apparel, accessories or shoes. However, this running shoe review and all my shoe reviews for that matter are in no way sponsored by UA. I write them with my own will and all opinions are authentically my own. In the same vein, I do not tout features or fluff up my reviews in any way—authenticity and honesty are two of my main values with my writing and creative work.
My New Lover: Under Armour’s Flow Velociti Wind (FVW)
I’ve been testing out Under Armour’s running shoes for about 3 years now and have trialed at least a dozen or more pairs, mostly from the HOVR™ Line. While some of the models I do enjoy, there are others that aren’t the great fit for my foot type or personal preference. This is how it should be and I’ll reiterate once again (as I do in all my blog posts) that there is no universal shoe that’s right for everyone. If I were to push every single shoe I tested, you know I’d be blowing smoke up your ass.
To preface my experience and opinions on the shoe, it’s important to also lay the groundwork for my review by sharing my foot type and preferences throughout this post. I have a neutral stride and enjoy minimalist shoes with a lower stack heights (closer to the ground feel), and less cushioning. Some of UA’s shoes fit the bill and some don’t—which is why they make so many different types.
Specs and Features
The FVW’s have a unique feel that I’ve never experienced before in a running shoe and that may be due to the fact that UA eliminated the rubber outsole (the blown rubber)—removing significant weight from the shoe. While running shoe reviews love to throw around technical jargon, I’ll briefly describe some of the shoe verbiage we’ll be chatting through.
Here’s a photo that I included in my post How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for those that are more visual:
Heel: The heel is the height measured at the heel of the shoe (in mm)
Forefoot: The forefoot is the height measured at the forefoot of the shoe (in mm)
Offset: The heel-toe drop, or what’s typically called the “offset,” is the difference between your heel and the ground, as well as your forefoot and the ground (measured in millimeters). Take the heel measurements, subtract (-) the forefoot measurements and voila! You got your offset. Lower heel-toe drops mimic a more natural movement of your body, however, the lower ranges mean your achilles needs to work a bit harder. Most shoe brands nowadays range from 6mm-8mm. Higher offsets are typically better for runners who have a heel strike and lower offsets are the preferred range for those who land midfoot (or on their toes).
Flow Velociti Wind Specs
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Here are the specs of what UA refers to has the “product DNA”:
Weight: Men’s 9 – 8.5oz (241g) / Women’s 7 – 8.02oz (227g)
An 8mm offset is in a normal range; not too low and not too high and best for those with a midfoot strike. To compare UA’s other running shoes, the forefoot, offset, and heel are the exact same as the Machinas, but with one vital difference: the weight of the shoe is significantly lighter. The women’s Machinas weigh 8.5 ounces and the men’s weigh 10 ounces. The Flow Velociti Winds are also one of the lightest runners and can be comparable to the Sonic 3s.
Warp™ upper – this is a new technology from UA; the interlocking “supporting tape” helps secure the foot, while at the same time, refrains from being too restrictive. When you’re in motion, the “tapes are in tension” and “relaxed” when you aren’t. The upper provides added ventilation for breathability.
Flow Midsole – Responsive, supportive and durable cushioning.
Flow Technology – The elimination of the rubber outsole (what really sets this runner apart from other shoes), significantly reduces weight for a minimalist, close to the ground feel and “seamless ride on any surface.”
Outsole – The outsole provides durability and a strong grip; increasing ground traction.
Connects to MapMyRun – tracks your runs via GPS and MMR offers real time coaching.
Look & Fit
When you first slip the FVW’s on your feet for the first time, you’ll be repeating what Ned Flanders says when he slipped on his umm shapely? ski suit: “Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all. Nothing at all. Nothing at all.”
The shoes are so light in weight, you’ll think you’re just wearing socks. I’m exaggerating, but with the elimination of the outsole, you really get that weight-less, minimalistic feel.
The colourways in the Flow’s are also stunning; they offer a wide variety of colour profiles that are vibrant, sharp, and in my opinion, very aesthetically pleasing. I’m more of an androgenous kind of gal so I usually prefer the men’s styles. Compared to women’s sizing, the men’s fit 1.5 smaller and vice-versa—so you can grab any colour that suits your palette preference.
My first wear trial in the Flow Velociti Winds was in early March and similar to every new pair of shoes I try, there was a bit of a break-in period. Whenever I try a new runner, I usually feel a bit of discomfort in the sole of my feet and knees for the first little bit—which is totally normal.
Luckily for me, after only a couple runs, my feet fully acclimatized to the shoe and I was off to the races (not literally because, yeah well, COVID). Since my first wear trial in March, I haven’t worn a new pair of shoes since—these have become my old faithful. I just retired my first pair after logging 829 kilometres / 515 miles over the course of 3.5 months in the same pair of shoes. Most trainers can handle between 300-500 miles or 500-800 kilometres (MAX) before it’s time for them to retire. I can always tell when my runners have had their day by the knee pain and shin splints that develop during and post-run. The Flows have managed to stay intact for me despite the numerous kilometers I’ve racked up on these babies; a telltale sign that the durability and quality of these shoes is beyond a doubt, exceptional.
I’ve worn these shoes for all types of runs, from treadmill workouts, to tempo and threshold runs, interval training, and long, easy runs. I can say with confidence that the Flow Velociti Winds get the job done and are a versatile trainer. Feeling light on my feet and close to the ground is important to me and the shoe feels natural—mimicking my organic stride. I’ve also tested these out on different terrains ranging from pavement to trails. The grip is fantastic and even on the trails, I found there was little to no slippage, and good traction. While I haven’t run more than 13 miles in the FVW’s yet, I’m confident that they’ll perform just as well with endurance distances (marathon and ultras)
Price and Where to Buy
The price point is reasonable for a trainer of this caliber and MSRP is $160 USD/ $190 CAD. If you’re interested in grabbing a pair (or multiple), you can buy them online (I’ll add the links below):
By now I’m sure you’re realizing that I’m a huge fan of the Flow Velociti Winds and I plan on stockpiling 50% of UA’s 2021 Canadian shipment (lol). Just like it’s rare to find that perfect person to spend the rest of your days with (thee old faithful relationship metaphor strikes again), finding a runner that’s a perfect match for your foot type can be just as rare. I feel #blessed (I’m annoying) for finding my solemate.
If you’re the type of runner with a neutral stride that enjoys the minimalist feel of a lighter weight shoe and feeling closer to the ground, I think you’ll fall in love with the FLW’s like I did. The durability and quality of the shoe is impressive and has held up after months of daily use. The price point is beyond fair for a quality trainer.
The FLW’s are great for all types of training runs: easy steady-state, fast threshold or intervals, and longer runs. It’s an all-around versatile trainer that fits the bill for many types of training plans. If you do give them a go, drop me an email or send me a DM on Instagram and let me know what you think! Happy running 🙂